1200 Calorie Low Carb Diet For Weight Loss In [UK] 2023
The major goal of a 1200-calorie, low-carb diet is to alter the metabolic response to encourage weight loss while maintaining adequate nutrition. In addition to weight loss, it can help to mediate blood pressure and blood sugar.
Restricting carbs will mean breaking down ketones for energy. This could lead to fatigue and adverse effects, so we’ll discuss the advantages and disadvantages of a low-carb diet.
Note that the number of calories you take in is important, but so are the macronutrients contributing to caloric intake. A 1200-calorie, high protein, low carb meal plan is based upon protein being a more prevalent macronutrient within the diet than carbs. This is beneficial as protein contributes to satiety and sustained muscle mass, and carbs significantly influence blood sugar levels.
What Is A 1200 Calorie Low Carb Diet?
A 1200-calorie low-carb diet restricts someone to consuming 1200 calories or less daily. Typically, the primary goal behind this diet is weight loss.
Carbohydrates are limited with this diet, although the number of grams will vary from person to person. Making the carbs you eat nutrient-dense is essential, like berries, sprouted grains, and cruciferous vegetables.
Who Is 1200 Calorie Diet Appropriate For?
Usually, a 1200-calorie diet can be considered appropriate for individuals trying to lose weight. A diet based on a calorie deficit can effectively treat conditions linked to obesity and inflammation. Taking in fewer calories may help improve weight loss and symptoms related to conditions such as osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, and diabetes. Calculating this calorie deficit according to personal needs and health status is important, but we discuss general concepts of a 1200-calorie low-carb diet here.
Though a typical 1200-calorie diet for diabetes usually consists of lower carbs and greater protein, be mindful that it can vary for each person. Fewer calories and fewer carbs may increase the ketones in blood circulation and lead to reduced hyperinsulinemia.
When adhering to a low-carb diet, ketones become the main fuel to maintain energy for the physiological process. Studies also revealed that ketones may function against inflammation.
Pros And Cons Of The 1200 Calorie Low Carb Meal Plan
- Eating fewer calories can increase insulin sensitivity, allowing cells to use glucose more efficiently, decreasing blood sugar.
- A low-carb diet can help in decreasing fasting glucose and fasting insulin. This can be advantageous in conditions like diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS — a reproductive dysfunction occurring with insulin resistance.
- Caloric restrictions can also boost the hormones, like ghrelin and cortisol, that diminish inflammation.
- When following a low-carb diet plan, less sugar can mean fewer cravings. The lowered sugar helps to suppress the urge to binge eat.
- Fewer calories from carbs can help improve cholesterol and promote heart health.
- There has been concern about weight regain on a low-calorie diet because weight-loss-induced stress can increase the inflammatory response, dampen your metabolic rate and cause fewer calories to be burned.
- For some individuals, following a low-calorie diet utilizing whole foods is hard, and the bulk of the diet becomes liquid.
- Some low-carb diet plans may heavily rely on animal fats and oils, which can lead to a greater risk of developing heart disease. However, low-carb diets can sometimes benefit the cardiovascular system, so try to prioritize healthy fat sources to promote this outcome.
- A low-carb diet like the Atkins diet may lead to adverse effects, including hypoglycemia and electrolyte imbalances.
- Adhering to a low-calorie diet may contribute to losing lean mass or muscle mass, slowing your metabolism, and increasing the risk of fractures and poor bone health.
Foods To Eat On The Low Carb 1200 Calorie Diet Plan
Fatty Fish And Lean Meats
Fatty fish are a great source of healthy fats like omega-3s which modulate inflammation and serve as brain food. For example, the omega-3 fatty acids in salmon promote optimal brain function and enhance blood circulation. Other great fatty fish include mackerel, cod, and tuna.
Poultry without skin, like turkey or chicken breast, can be a great source of lean protein. Chicken breast effectively builds muscle and satiety, while cod is a low-calorie fish that provides great protein.
Nuts, like almonds, walnuts, or pistachios, are a great source of healthy fat, protein, and fiber and help sustain your satiety. The monounsaturated fat content promotes HDL cholesterol which clears plaque buildup, thus reducing total cholesterol. The omega-3 components render these fats heart-healthy and anti-inflammatory, which helps with weight loss.
If you enjoy snowpeas, lentils, and green beans, you can include these foods in low-carb diets in moderation. These complex carbs contain fiber and are digested more slowly than processed carbs, so there are no adverse effects on blood sugar. Legumes are plant-based foods that contain great nutrients like zinc, iron, and B vitamins.
Berries, such as raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, or cranberries, can be beneficial on a low-carb diet because they are low-sugar fruit. The varied red, blue, and purple tints are due to anthocyanin content and can be useful for identifying antioxidant properties. Anthocyanins are anti-inflammatory and can lower blood sugar levels as well as alleviate insulin resistance.
Barley, quinoa, and oats are high-fiber grains that can be consumed in moderation. Oats and quinoa are both anti-inflammatory foods that can relieve obesity-related inflammation. Whole grains containing beta-glucan positively influence blood parameters and reduce body fat.
Cruciferous veggies like cauliflower, kale, and cabbage contain antioxidants that are protective against diseases like cancer and promote gut health and regularity. These vegetables are low-calorie and non-starches that contain fiber to stabilize blood sugar. The vitamin C and vitamin K content supports the immune system.
Foods To Avoid On The Low Carb 1200 Calorie Diet Plan
As you meal prep, avoid carb-heavy grains like white bread, rice, and pasta. These refined carbs are readily digested and may adversely affect glucose levels and weight gain.
Products with trans and saturated fats negatively impact cholesterol and increase heart disease risk. Avoid processed sandwich meats and excessive consumption of high-fat dairy. Also, consider using olive or sesame oil in recipes.
Starchy vegetables like potatoes and corn undergo processing into white-flour-based food items and end up stripped of nutrients. This may alter digestion and glycemic load. Instead, you’ll want to rely on dark leafy greens or invest in a low-carb greens superfood blend of kale, spirulina, and spinach that provides the same nutrients.
Processed Snacks And Desserts
They are often hard to resist, but cookies, sodas, and most snack foods contain refined carbs that are heavily processed. These high-glycemic foods can spike your blood sugar, contribute to cravings, and lead to weight gain.
It may be difficult, but try to avoid products with sweeteners like corn syrup, sweet tea, applesauce, and fruit juice. Artificial sweeteners may not contribute calories, but they may have adverse effects on the gut microbiome potentially impacting blood sugar control.
Fruit juices often contain additives like sugar or allergenic products. It may help to blend real fruit to make fruit juice at home to maintain the nutrient content while avoiding added sugar. You can add a low-carb protein powder to make smoothies supporting muscle and weight management.
Sample 7-Day Low Carb 1200 Calorie Diet Meal Plan
To help make eating 1200 calories a day more sustainable, evenly distributing your calories to each meal throughout the day is ideal for controlling hunger and encouraging a steady energy level. Therefore, each of these meals contains roughly 300 calories.
Breakfast: ½ cup cooked oats, ¼ cup blueberries, and ¼ cup almonds; 1 cup fortified almond milk
Lunch: Caesar salad and 1 slice of pita bread
Snack: 1 apple, 1 cup carrot sticks, and 1 tbsp hummus
Dinner: 3 ounces salmon, ½ cup roasted asparagus, and lemon juice; 1 cup fortified almond milk
Breakfast: Plain Greek yogurt, 1 cup strawberries, and 1 tbsp chia seeds
Lunch: Seafood Gazpacho
Snack: Grapefruit and cream cheese
Dinner: 6 ounces skinless grilled chicken breast and 1 cup braised cabbage; 1 cup fortified soy milk.
Breakfast: Quinoa and raspberries; 1 cup fortified almond milk.
Lunch: Tuna salad over spinach
Snack: Protein shake with chopped walnuts
Dinner: 1 cup chicken and vegetable stir-fry
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs, avocado, and whole grain toast; 8 ounces fortified almond milk.
Lunch: Turkey cobb salad
Snack: 2 small peanut butter oat balls; plain Greek yogurt.
Dinner: 3 ounces boiled cod with steamed broccoli and olive oil
Breakfast: Spinach and mushroom omelet; 8 ounces fortified soy milk.
Lunch: 1 cup avocado egg salad on pita bread with 1-ounce mozzarella cheese
Snack: Orange slices and almonds
Dinner: 1 cup chickpea soup
Breakfast: Chia pudding with blackberries; 8 ounces fortified almond or soy milk.
Lunch: Roast beef sandwich on whole grain
Snack: ½ cup strawberries; plain Greek yogurt.
Dinner: Zucchini and chicken patties
Breakfast: Oatmeal with banana; ½ cup dairy alternative, fortified.
Lunch: BLT on pita bread
Snack: Berry smoothie with 8 ounces non-fat milk
Dinner: 75 grams buckwheat noodles with 3 ounces sesame beef
As you navigate meal prep for less caloric intake, be mindful of healthy fats and filling protein sources. You may also want to think about high-fiber sources of carbs that can benefit weight loss because the type of macronutrient has a great bearing on the success of the diet plan.
It may help to look into low-carb meal delivery services that can be customized to fit your needs. Choose a chef-made meal service for a service that offers diverse menu options tailored to individual needs. The goal is to curate meal plans for your life effectively.
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